Transport & Infrastructure

Key Transport & Infrastructure Projects

Moorebank Intermodal
EnRiskS has undertaken a human health risk assessment (HHRA) and a health impact assessment (HIA) for this project. The project was undertaken to address Commonwealth and State requirements.

The human health risk assessment was focused on air quality (in particular the impacts of particulate emissions on the local population) and involved using the results of air quality modelling to assess the risks. The project is located in south-western Sydney. The assessment included incremental and cumulative risks using the national air quality guidelines. For particulates the approach adopted involved the using a range of relationships developed from large epidemiological studies developed in discussion and consultation with NSW Health, in particular the Sydney South West Area Health Service (SWSAHS). This enabled a more thorough and up to date assessment of the potential impacts of particulates which was important given the large number of trucks and trains involved in the project. The assessment included a review of existing health (including obtaining access to and utilising local health statistics from the SWSAHS) and ambient air quality in south-western Sydney.

The health impact assessment provided a consolidated review and summary of all the potential health impacts (positive and negative) of the development including noise, vibration, air quality, water quality, visual, waste, contamination in the context of the current status of the potentially affected community. A review of the health and socioeconomic status of the potential affected community was undertaken. The basis for each of the national or state guidelines was reviewed to show how compliance with the guideline or policy was protective of health. Some of the hazards required more detailed assessment which included consideration of mitigation measures which would be useful to include in the project. The goal of a health impact assessment is to identify ways of maximising the benefits and minimising as much as possible the potential hazards of the project and the assessment undertaken provided a range of recommendations to achieve this goal. A stakeholder steering committee was involved in developing the health impact assessment and international independent peer review of the assessment was undertaken. Presentation of the HHRA and HIA in public meetings was also undertaken.

Traffic tunnels
EnRiskS has conducted a number of health risk and health impact assessments for major road infrastructure in Sydney and Melbourne that include significant lengths of tunnels. The projects include NorthConnex, WestConnex M4 East, WestConnex New M5 located in the Sydney basin and the Western Distributor in Melbourne. The approach taken was discussed and negotiated with NSW Health and Victoria Health as the assessment is developed to ensure the final report meets their requirements and is as up to date as possible. It also involved consideration of the most robust and current epidemiological based exposure response relationships relevant to the assessment of air pollution and noise exposures in urban environments. The assessments have been undertaken to ensure that it provides a useful tool for the communicating of risks to the local community. These projects have involved ongoing updates and discussions with NSW Health. Victoria Health, the NSW Minister for Transport providing updates to the client and presentation of results in public meetings.

Aircraft emissions
An assessment of the impact of aircraft emissions on the health of the local community was undertaken for the Department of Defence for the introduction of the Hawke fighter planes at the RAAF Williamtown Base. The health risk assessment was undertaken to specifically address concerns of the community raise as part of the community consultation process. The assessment addressed impacts on the health of the community that may be associated with changes to air quality, noise, water (tank water) and soil quality (from fallout) and noise levels.

Mercury emissions from power stations
An assessment of the risk posed by mercury emissions from coal fired power stations was undertaken. The work involved using measured and estimated emissions rates of mercury from power stations within the Hunter region as input to regional air dispersion modelling. The results of the modelling were then used to assess impacts of mercury emissions from these sources on the health of the surrounding population. The assessment included consideration of global mercury issues, mercury content of coal across countries, mercury sources across Australian industries, mercury emissions from coal fired power stations across Australia and vapour vs particulate mercury in the emissions.

Coal Seam Gas Infrastructure
The is project involved the conducted of a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to address concerns raised by the local community and NSW Health in relation to the proposed expansion of coal seam gas (CSG) infrastructure in Camden, located in southwestern Sydney. The HIA focused on addressing key concerns in relation to air and water quality in the local area as a result of the proposed expansion.

Port Headland
Detailed assessment of health impacts have been evaluated in relation to the expansion of port facilities in Port Headland, particularly in relation to community health. The assessment considered key community concerns in relation to dust (particulate) impacts from the proposed upgrade of facilities. In addition further work has been undertaken in a review role in relation to a more detailed evaluation of an appropriate air guideline for particulates for Port Headland, where the key contribution to particulates is crustal materials as opposed to combustion emissions (higher in urban environments).